I am a 50+ woman who re-entered cycling 3 months ago. Prior to that, I slowly lost 30 lbs. by loosely following a diabetic exchange plan for hypoglycemia + weight loss (1600 calories/day) plus walking 30 minutes/day.
Then, 3 months ago I bought my bike. At the same time, I increased the amount of walking I do. I now bike or walk for 30-60 minutes/day, with some longer rides (2+ hours) on the weekends. Since then, I have not made big adjustments to what I eat and have lost only a few pounds, which is fine (I'm not overweight, I just want to lose some of the remaining upper-body fat deposits and maybe 10 more pounds for the sake of my back, knees, ankles and feet).
My entire weight loss has been no more than 1 pound/week, sometimes none for an entire month, and I am very happy with that. I am more concerned with losing too fast than losing any at all at this point. However, people are starting to notice my weight loss and ask me if I tried to lose weight, or if I am sick. Since I have not lost weight drastically, and I eat a very balanced diet with a good balance of carbs and protein, and never skip meals (Hubby says all I do is eat, LOL), I think the fat must be melting off due to the big increase in exercise over the past 3 months.
But since I didn't add a lot of food when I began exercising more, I am wondering if I am eating enough to maintain muscle mass. I feel strong, and every week I feel stronger on the bike or when walking (which includes hills and stairs). I never feel week or tired or fatigued at all.
So I'm wondering.... what are the signs of not eating enough calories for my level of exercise? I am still loosely following the exchange plan.... if I do get hungry during the day then I add a healthy snack (apple + nuts, 1/2 peanut butter sandwich, cottage cheese and fruit.....).
Are there other signs to look for that signal I'm not eating enough, if I feel good and strong and perform well in my activities?